Arcata, CA–In the days leading up to the one-year mark of the unsolved murder of Humboldt State University student David Josiah Lawson, Arcata’s Chief of Police has resigned.
His resignation not only falls within student-led protest at HSU to bring national attention to Lawson’s murder, but comes the day after retired FBI investigator Tom Parker, terminated his contract with the city.
Parker was brought in via Lawson’s family attorney to do a review of the case and help APD with potential leads.
Parker gave an interview to KQED’s California Report where he stated that:
“I was very concerned about the progress of the case. I was concerned that I was being given what I would refer to as stalling representations or being told about things were supposedly being done only to find out they were not being done by the police department.”
The city of Arcata sent out a press release Tuesday morning with the news, which did not illustrate exactly why the chief resigned. The city of Arcata says that it was ultimately his decision.
Information regarding the Interim Chief of Police and the recruitment process for a new Chief of Police will be revealed by the city next week.
Students as well as represenatives from the local NAACP and local media swarmed city hall at 4:00 p.m Tuesday evening following the news, wanting more information from Arcata’s City Manager, Karen Diemer, on the reason behind the chief’s sudden resignation.
Chapman sent a brief email to Diemer at 9:30 a.m. that morning about his resignation–effective immediately.
Diemer gave no information and attempted to persuade those present with a straight face that there was no reason to worry on the status of Lawson’s investigation and that both resignations were not correlated in any way.
She also stated that a team from the D.A’s office and APD were working on the case every day, as well as waiting for forensic analysis from the DOJ.
However, Parker said there appeared to be a lack of direction and leadership from the top.
He also stated that from looking at the details of the case it appeared to be solvable.
“A local team had been put together to investigate the case and I just did not have the confidence that was the proper team to move forward with the case.”
Listen about 5 minutes in to KQED’s The California Report: